For months, we've been hearing how Tom Cruise – excelling in his role as fictional 80s rock star Stacee Jaxx in the upcoming movie Rock of Ages - was singing for real and kicking butt. Even Def Leppard members who visited Cruise on set last year raved about his awesome vocal chops.
Now we get to hear it for ourselves: Cruise as Jaxx tackling Leppard's signature hit, "Pour Some Sugar On Me." Click below.
Does it soar… or does it suck? Let's just say: a little of both, though Cruise (perhaps understandably) plays it straight, thus robbing the track of potential kitsch appeal.
As the heads over at Ultimate Classic Rock correctly point out in their review of the song, "With Cruise on the stick, one finds himself focusing too much on the lyrics [instead of being] swept away in a wash of emotional excess.
"'You got the peaches, I got the cream / Sweet to taste, saccharine.' Really? That’s what he says? Is there a more un-rockstar-like word than 'saccharine?'”
Hahahaha. Spot on! Much as I love Leppard (and I do) I have always thought the best thing that could be said about "Pour Some Sugar on Me" is that the band always encores with it, thus giving me a handy jump-start on getting out of whatever arena they happen to be playing.
Interestingly, Cruise has his own story about performing the song, one of several he tackles in Rock of Ages, which opens next month. Speaking to Playboy, the actor says, "I was down in Miami, recording different songs and director Adam [Shankman] called and said, ‘Def Leppard’s coming by the set.’ I said, ‘Man, that’s cool.’
"Then I paused. ‘Wait, I’m rehearsing their song tomorrow.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah!’ [laughs] So we started right in the deep end, and that was the first scene I shot in the movie…They went to the back of the Bourbon Room, and I looked at my band and was like, ‘Hit it.’ All the crew was watching them watching me.
“[Leppard singer] Joe Elliott, points at me and goes, ‘F— you! F— you!’" Cruise continues. “Then I saw big smiles on their faces, and I realized I’d gotten their stamp. It was a very cool moment. It was important they knew I was honoring their music and not making fun of them.”
Other cast members, including Malin Akerman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand and leads Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough also cover the slate of 80s-era rock songs framing the film adaptation of the Broadway hit. A complete track listing follows the jump.
01. Paradise City (Tom Cruise) 02. Sister Christian/Just Like Paradise/Nothin' But a Good Time (Diego Boneta) 03. Juke Box Hero/I Love Rock 'N' Roll (Diego Boneta) 04. Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Catherine Zeta-Jones) 05. Waiting For A Girl Like You (Diego Boneta) 06. More Than Words/Heaven (Diego Boneta) 07. Wanted Dead Or Alive (Julianne Hough) 08. I Want To Know What Love Is (Malin Akerman) 09. I Wanna Rock (Diego Boneta) 10. Pour Some Sugar On Me (Tom Cruise) 11. Harden My Heart (Julianne Hough) 12. Shadows Of The Night/Harden My Heart (Julianne Hough) 13. Here I Go Again (Diego Boneta) 14. Can't Fight This Feeling (Russell Brand) 15. Any Way You Want It (Julianne Hough) 16. Undercover Love (Diego Boneta) 17. Every Rose Has Its Thorn (Diego Boneta) 18. Rock You Like A Hurricane (Julianne Hough) 19. We Built This City/We're Not Gonna Take It (Russell Brand) 20. Don't Stop Believin' (Diego Boneta)